Yu-Gi-Oh has made a comeback in the last several years, and the franchise has done so with little to no missteps. That is why the brand took a step this week to protect its image after one of its ambassadors fell into major controversy thanks to a newly released video. Konami announced today it is canceling its contract with pro footballer Antoine Griezmann amidst the damning ordeal, and the company is the latest to speak out against the Barcelona player.
For those who aren't familiar with the ordeal, it began this week when a video taken in 2019 surfaced with Griezmann. It is there the athlete is shown with teammate Ousmane Dembele during a trip in Japan. The video goes on to show the pair as they seemingly mock two Asian technicians working in their hotel room, and the video has caused an uproar with fans all over.
Konami is the latest brand to address the situation as the company oversees a video game featuring Barcelona. The company's recent contract with the player put Konami on the offensive, and it has cut all ties with Griezmann.
"Konami Digital Entertainment believes, as is the philosophy of sports, that discrimination of any kind is unacceptable," Konami shared in a statement released today. "Previously we had announced Antoine Griezmann as our Yu-Gi-Oh contents ambassador, however in light of recent events we have decided to cancel the contract... We will be requesting FC Barcelona as a club partner to explain the details of this case and its future actions."
Both Griezmann and Dembele have issued apologies for the video and their role in it. Griezmann posted a public apology to fans as he stressed he is "completely against all forms of discrimination" and even spoke with one offended sponsor personally. Earlier this week, Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani put out a blistering statement about the video demanding an explanation, and the company stands as one of Barcelona's biggest sponsors. And given how fans have taken all this drama, Griezmann and Dembele still have more to do to prove their penance.
What do you think of this Yu-Gi-Oh controversy? Does this whole situation surprise you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.